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Curing the 'Migration Migraine' with SharePoint Hosting



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  • 1. Curing The ‘MigrationMigraine’ WithSharePoint Hosting ® 1
  • 2. Microsoft® SharePoint® is a remarkable success, with morethan 70% of all enterprises currently using some versionof the product. Adoption rates for SharePoint 2010 areequally robust: According to Forrester Research, 57% 57%of the companies surveyed had upgraded by the fourth of the companies surveyedquarter of 2011.1 had upgraded to SharePointYet these numbers don’t tell the entire story. While 2010 by the fourth quartermany enterprises have upgraded to SharePoint 2010, of 2011.a significant number still have not done so – a telling - Forrester Researchtrend, given the performance enhancements, updatedfeature set, deeper application integration, and other intelligence. Many enterprises are eager to explore these 2obvious advantages to upgrading. These companies have enhanced features, yet their IT organizations struggle withfound that the upgrade process is more complex and the resulting data storage, custom-app development,expensive than expected; IT departments, faced with what third-party product integration, and other requirementsForrester describes as a “tension between fast delivery of necessary to make the next version work.abundant applications and maintenance of shared stable Migrating a SharePoint environment by leveragingenvironments,” lack the time and resources to implement a service provider model could offer a solution tothese complex migrations and upgrades. these challenges by shifting some of the infrastructure management and administrative burden to a trustedWith another major SharePoint upgrade coming third party provider. While many enterprises havesoon, even companies that have already upgraded to considered this option, they often reject it due toSharePoint 2010 will be forced, yet again, to deal with this common misconceptions over security, availability, lack ofproblem in the not-too-distant future. These companies customization options or other issues.have already discovered that a properly implementedSharePoint solution can given them a powerful competitive These are valid concerns, and they represent realadvantage, and they are eager to maintain that advantage. obstacles to many SharePoint migration efforts. Given theYet they are also wary of the cost and complexity right hosting provider, however, and a proven migrationassociated with a major SharePoint upgrade project. methodology, enterprises can adopt hosted SharePoint solutions that actually give them greater flexibility andThere’s another important point to consider: The need scalability than ever before – while minimizing long-termfor a SharePoint environment that can accommodate costs and complexity.future growth. Today, basic SharePoint capabilities such asshared workspaces, intranets and company portals are still The following white paper will take a closer look at whyfar more common than cutting-edge applications for web enterprises are so wary of SharePoint hosting solutions. Itcontent management, records management and business will also explain how IT organizations can identify hosting providers that can truly offer cost-effective alternatives to traditional on-premise environments.1 2 about-sharepoint-infographic/ 2
  • 3. Curing The Migration Migraine:The Benefits Of Hosted SharePoint EnvironmentsMost enterprise IT organizations are already familiar with Staffing is the single largestthe basic arguments in favor of using a hosted model.They understand that leveraging a service provider allows cost component of an in-them to minimize capital investments in hardware and IT house SharePoint solution , accounting for 60%infrastructure support, reaping the benefits of an OPEXexpense model. A hosted model also reduces the burdenon in-house IT staff, allowing the enterprise to align ITresources to strategic, game-changing projects or to carrya reduced headcount.All of these advantages are applicable to SharePoint of TCO.environments, whether or not an enterprise has completed - Demonstrating Business Value:the SharePoint 2010 upgrade process. A SharePoint Selling to Your C-Level Executiveshosting provider can assume responsibility for: The resulting total cost of ownership savings compared to • Provisioning new physical servers and maintaining an on-premises SharePoint environment can be significant. existing hardware; This is especially true given the ability to take the • Installing and configuring software updates – whether opportunity cost savings, in terms of an IT organization’s these involve SharePoint updates or OS patches/ project-carrying capacity, and apply it to other, high- service packs; value internal initiatives. In fact, according to a Microsoft- sponsored whitepaper, staffing is the single largest cost • Providing storage, networking and other supporting component of an in-house SharePoint solution, accounting infrastructure. for 60% of TCO.3 3 1/9/2/192e73a4-7abb-4bad-b469-34632d54a8a6/IDC%20 Whitepaper%20Demonstrating%20Business%20Value.pdf 3
  • 4. 7 Reasons Why Hosted SharePoint Solutions Fall ShortGiven these advantages, why doesn’t every enterprise move from its on-premises SharePoint environment to a hostedmodel? The answer to this question usually involves one or more of the following issues that increase business risk, addcomplexity and drive up the cost of a SharePoint migration or “migration migraines”: 1. Compliance requirements. A typical SharePoint environment holds a treasure trove of proprietary business data. In addition, public companies and those working in regulated industries have additional concerns related to regulatory compliance. 2. Customization concerns. Very few enterprises migrate an unmodified, out-of-the-box SharePoint environment. Even when a company uses SharePoint for basic applications such as team sites and intranets, it is likely to invest in a certain amount of custom code. The more an enterprise depends on such code, the more it stands to lose during a botched migration process. 3. Third-party application availability. SharePoint supports an immense software ecosystem that includes more than 700,000 developers and as many as 2,000 third-party solutions.4 As a result, many enterprises rely upon multiple third-party applications to augment their SharePoint environments. These products can complicate a migration process. 4. User adoption and enablement challenges. IT organizations dread the prospect of a migration project that forces them to reset user passwords or even to create new user accounts – problems that can kill user adoption rates. Migrating to a hosted SharePoint environment can also impact user support and training; in this area, as in others, an enterprise will rely more upon a service provider’s support resources rather than internal resources. In addition, some providers may lack the resources and expertise to properly support user-enablement initiatives such as custom dashboards and UI elements. 5. Availability and reliability woes. An internal IT organization may despise the term “one neck to choke” when it comes to assigning responsibility (or blame) for unplanned downtime. Nevertheless, enterprises that consider SharePoint an important business tool will expect a hosting provider to deliver industry leading uptime guarantees, outage response-time and related service level guarantees. 4 4
  • 5. 6. Lack of flexibility. As noted previously, enterprises that use a relatively small set of SharePoint features today may have far more ambitious plans for the future. They are thus concerned that a hosting provider will fail (or refuse) to support additional functionality or new feature rollouts. A SharePoint records-management initiative, for example, can offer important compliance and data governance benefits, but it can also involve a complex and demanding implementation process. 7. Fear of the unknown. Even a simple technology migration project involves expecting the unexpected. A SharePoint migration is anything but simple; an IT organization must anticipate problems, create contingency plans and prepare a detailed migration roadmap. Differences in data structures, storage types, formats, computer systems and other variables can all conspire to stop a SharePoint migration dead in its tracks. The IT team thus needs to consider the role a hosting provider can play in the actual migration process.The risks that result from these seven issues will vary based upon the role that SharePoint currently plays in an enterprise’sIT infrastructure – is it of a high business importance, or does it serve a peripheral role? An IT organization must alsoassess its in-house capabilities, both present and future, before it can decide whether the costs of a SharePoint migrationoutweigh the benefits.Nevertheless, it is clear that moving from an on-premise SharePoint environment to a hosted or managed model doesinvolve business and technology risks considerations. The question, then, is whether a hosting provider can marshal theknowledge, skills and technology capabilities to address these objections. 5
  • 6. Curing The Migraine:7 Criteria For Selecting A SharePoint Hosting ProviderIn order to identify criteria, it is necessary to build a model The hosting provider’s discovery process shouldof a SharePoint migration and Service Provider managed thus reflect three attributes. First, it should involveSharePoint solution. Such a solution, viewed from start to extensive, direct contact between the provider’sfinish, will include the following major elements: SharePoint migration team and the client’s enterprise IT team. Second, it should be collaborative process 1. Client-appropriate security. Security is a complex that gives the client IT organization the opportunity topic; it involves physical security and virtual security, to explain their current SharePoint environment and as well as protection against unplanned downtime their concerns about the migration process. and other threats. Today, top-tier hosting providers routinely offer a level of security that you find Finally, the discovery process should be forward- in a typical enterprise data center or colocation looking – that is, the provider’s migration team environment. For enterprises, though, SharePoint should assess future needs to extend and maximize itself creates another set of unique, largely policy- an enterprise’s existing SharePoint environment. based security challenges. SharePoint administration, 4. A track record of designing and building complex including security-related tools, are notoriously SharePoint environments. Any enterprise that uses complex, and basic administrative tools may not go SharePoint as a custom-development platform will far enough to satisfy security requirements. insist that a provider offer appropriate stand-up With these challenges in mind, a SharePoint hosting capabilities for its migrated and hosted SharePoint provider can offer security features with the right environment. This includes taking insights gleaned mix of skills and dedicated resources – and help by from the discovery process and turning them into applying the experience and lessons learned from specific, detailed technical requirements. It also building large numbers of SharePoint environments. includes a design and development staff with They can also help enterprises create appropriate proven experience standing up complex enterprise internal security policies for managing and accessing SharePoint implementations. SharePoint data stores. 5. An established SharePoint migration 2. Uptime and SLA guarantees. Availability and methodology. The actual process of migrating service-level guarantees are another potential source SharePoint data and other resources between an of differentiation for hosting providers. Given the in-house and hosted environment is fraught with role that SharePoint plays in many enterprises, and uncertainty. An enterprise IT organization is especially the costs associated with unplanned downtime, it likely to express concern over three issues: is reasonable for an enterprise to demand uptime • Do we have the technical and human resources to (excluding scheduled maintenance) from a provider’s carry out a migration? data center network, data center infrastructure and server hardware components. • Does our team have the necessary mix of implementation and integration skills? 3. A formal discovery process for a client’s SharePoint requirements. Hosting providers • Can we anticipate potential problems and develop can’t just assume that a client’s existing SharePoint appropriate contingency plans? environment will fit an existing implementation model – and they certainly can’t always impose a one-size- fits-all approach. 6
  • 7. A hosting provider’s migration team, and the SharePoint 2010: methodology it employs, should specifically address Hosting Migration all three of these questions. As a result, it can provide the client’s IT organization with specific, dedicated resources necessary to migrate data, deploy the new Whether an enterprise has already implemented SharePoint environment, and help with any problems SharePoint 2010, or plans to adopt it as part of a that arise during the process. A provider’s migration migration project, its IT organization can address a team should also be capable of working with an number of important data management issues. The first enterprise on related legacy data migration initiatives, and most obvious type of initiative involves moving and if necessary, the provider should be able to business information from legacy content management, consolidate and reorganize a SharePoint environment groupware and other systems to SharePoint 2010. prior to beginning the migration process. It must The migration process from an on-premise to hosted also be able to deal with the technology-integration environment offers an obvious opportunity to demands associated with a SharePoint environment, streamline data stores and plan for ongoing data including Active Directory, Microsoft SQL, Exchange, management. and other products. Other SharePoint 2010 issues to consider as part of a6. A forward-looking approach to SharePoint hosted-service migration include: implementation. An on-premise SharePoint environment is usually a work in progress; users • Deducplication and content profiling to reduce constantly request, and expect, new features storage costs and eliminate redundant data; and functionality. This may involve deploying • Introducing both physical and digital records additional, but currently unused, standard SharePoint management – a key SharePoint 2010 capability that components; developing new custom-coded features; relatively few enterprises use; or integration additional third-party applications. • Taking full advantage of SharePoint 2010 data A hosting provider’s in-house professional services search, navigation, categorization, document staff can help with implementing new features using parsing, and related features, all of which can be any or all of these approaches. The provider should implemented as part of a larger data migration and also offer a standard methodology for testing and data-quality initiative. rolling out new SharePoint functionality or custom- Hosting providers can play a major role in ensuring coded components. the success of these data management projects. In order to do this, however, the provider must have a proven track record not only with SharePoint migration projects, but also with helping businesses plan for data storage, management, governance and quality- assurance. 7
  • 8. 7. A strong focus on user adoption and enablement Technical support is an important concern here, issues. It may sound like a stretch to expect a hosting and for many enterprises it will be the single most provider to assume responsibility for motivating, important post-implementation issue. Nevertheless, educating and empowering a company’s SharePoint the more strategic an enterprise’s SharePoint users. Yet this is an important part of an enterprise’s deployment becomes, the more important it is to in-house SharePoint deployment strategy – and as a work with a hosting provider that can deliver a full result, it must play an important role in a hosted or suite of customized user education, training and managed environment. empowerment solutions. This includes access to a real-world training curriculum based on established Some issues to consider here include: best practices – an absolute necessity for enterprises • Can the hosting provider develop custom SharePoint seeking to turn their SharePoint implementation into dashboards and business intelligence solutions? a source of competitive advantage. • Can the provider perform user interface enhancements and customizations? • Can they provide training and ongoing support for both technical and business users? • Does their training and support model include both onsite and remote options?SharePoint HostingMany enterprises have considered moving to a hosted SharePoint environment, and quite a few have explored theiroptions with various hosting providers. Unfortunately, a good number of these companies are frustrated and disappointedwith what they find – and they decide to stay with an on-premises SharePoint environment as the lesser of two evils.The solution to this problem doesn’t involve lowering expectations or giving up SharePoint’s full potential. Hostingproviders that have a solid track record of working with challenging enterprise IT environments do exist. Once anenterprise identifies such a provider, it can enjoy the full benefits of a hosted SharePoint environment – including thefreedom to devote money and resources to more productive IT activities, without sacrificing the benefits associated witha traditional, on-premises SharePoint implementation. 8
  • 9. 5000 Walzem Rd. Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, deliveringSan Antonio, Texas 78218 open technologies and powering more than 190,000 customers worldwide.UNITED STATES Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, HybridP: 1.800.961.2888 Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.” Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world. For more information, visit Whitepaper is for informational purposes only and is provided “AS IS.” The information set forth in this document is intended as aguide and not as a step-by-step process, and does not represent an assessment of any specific compliance with laws or regulationsor constitute advice. We strongly recommend that you engage additional expertise in order to further evaluate applicable require-ments for your specific environment. RACKSPACE MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESSOR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT AND RESERVES THERIGHT TO MAKE CHANGES TO SPECIFICATIONS AND PRODUCT/SERVICES DESCRIPTION AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.RACKSPACE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE OR MAKE CHANGES TO ITS SERVICES OFFERINGS AT ANY TIMEWITHOUT NOTICE. USERS MUST TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR APPLICATION OF ANY SERVICES AND/OR PROCESSESMENTIONED HEREIN. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN RACKSPACE GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS, CLOUD TERMS OF SER-VICE AND/OR OTHER AGREEMENT YOU SIGN WITH RACKSPACE, RACKSPACE ASSUMES NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER, ANDDISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, RELATING TO ITS SERVICES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THEIMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NONINFRINGEMENT.Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Rackspace, the furnishing of this document does not give you anylicense to patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.Rackspace, Rackspace logo, Fanatical Support, and/or other Rackspace marks mentioned in this document are either registered ser-vice marks or service marks of Rackspace US, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. OpenStackTM and OpenStack logo areeither registered trademarks or trademarks of OpenStack, LLC in the United States and/or other countries.All other product names and trademarks used in this document are for identification purposes only to refer to either the entities claim-ing the marks and names or their products, and are property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of othercompanies’ tradenames, trademarks, or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, these othercompanies. © 2012 Rackspace US, Inc. All rights reserved. 9